How to Heal the Right Way -- Not Your Typical 'Moving On' Advice

I am sure if you have ever been tried by life or been caught struggling with your emotions, you have been told to distract yourself. Your mom, your best friend, and your best friend's mom have probably reminded you to do whatever you can to keep your mind off the pain, to surround yourself with people and things that you love.

Well, I am here today to tell you that distracting yourself from your heartbreak is probably causing you to hurt for much longer than you need to. The fact of the matter is that no matter how distracted you are, there will always be times when you are alone. Even if you have the most perfect day surrounded by family and friends and you go home feeling on top of the world, you will shower alone. You will lie down and try to fall asleep alone. Your thoughts will creep up on you and it will hit you all at once. Every memory from your perfect day will be overcome with tormenting memories of the past.

It sounds dark and depressing, but it's true. The loneliness will find its way into your mind no matter how hard you try to block it out. If you refuse to let yourself feel your emotions and try to hide the fact that your heart is barely beating, you will never move on and you will never find forgiveness. What I am getting at here is that you can either give yourself a few hard days, feel everything all at once, internalize it all, and organize your thoughts on your own terms; or you can keep pushing back the healing with distractions and suffer silently for weeks or months.

You’re going to feel the pain no matter what. So you might as well just grab it by the horns and let yourself feel it all upfront. It will still take time and it will still suck, but in the end, it's the only way you can truly heal.

I know this all sounds ridiculous, trust me. If I read this article six months ago, I would've rolled my eyes and closed the tab by now. But I truly went through this, and it wasn't by choice. My most recent heartbreak occurred just two days before my best friend, whom I confide in and rely on for everything, was leaving for an eight-day cruise, and three days before the only other two girls I can trust was leaving for their own trips. I was absolutely crushed knowing that my on and off relationship of nearly five years was over for good and that I was going to be completely alone to deal with it in the weeks to follow.

“How am I supposed to handle this on my own?” “What am I supposed to do with myself for these next two weeks?” “I am literally just going to lay in bed and cry for the rest of my life,” were just some of the thoughts racing through my mind. I was terrified of how I was going to deal with the breakup without having anyone to distract me from the pain. The boy who was attached to my hip for years was gone, and my best friend who was always there to pick up the pieces was in the middle of the ocean, completely unreachable. I was alone for the first time since I was 13.

The first couple of days were awful. I was genuinely in the worst mental state I had ever been in. There were several times where I caught myself begging to be loved by someone who I knew could not care for me in the ways I deserved. But thankfully, after the initial couple days, I was forced to get up and start a new job. I immediately began working nine-hour shifts and I truly believe this was a game-changer for me.

I was working in retail and my shifts were usually during very slow times of the day, so I was typically stationed mindlessly folding some disastrous display. Day after day, hour after hour, I was completely alone with my thoughts. One day, in particular, I was folding a pair of jeans when I just snapped out of it. It was a moment of clarity, it almost felt like an out of body experience. My eyes were still puffy from crying the night before, but I knew at that moment that I had to begin moving on. Don't get me wrong, this was not the moment I fell out of love -- that took exponentially longer -- but it was the moment I decided that I would be fine. The moment I saw what everyone else saw all along. So many aspects of my life changed for the better that day and I haven't cried over that boy since. Not even one tear.

If I was never forced to be alone and isolated with my thoughts, I would still be stuck in a ruthless cycle of manipulation. I would still be head over heels in love with someone who never took the time to realize it.

So please, if you're that girl forcing doubts out of your mind every day, if you catch yourself wondering for even a second if there is someone out there who won't make you cry so much, if you're only sticking around because you're scared of how you'll deal with the heartbreak, leave. It's not worth it, and this is coming from the girl who tried to revive a dead relationship for four years. There is someone out there waiting to love you right. And even if he's not right around the corner, taking time to heal alone will ignite the brightest fire of self-love you've ever felt.